MMORPG Lost Ark was considered in China as an expected hit that the Chinese audience is waiting for. Over the years of waiting, Chinese players have played three versions of the game: Korean, CIS and global. In each version, they left their mark. For example, at the start of the Korean version, Chinese craftsmen were able to implement an alternative game launcher that allowed them to enter the server without going through hour-long queues.
For the sake of launching the game in China, SmileGate censored their game and reportedly delayed the launch in Taiwan. On the WeGame gaming platform, an analogue of Tencent’s Steam, the game had a rating of over 90% before release. But a week and a half after the release, it fell to 61.6%. Despite the fact that the release took place on July 20, 2023, Chinese players were able to play the game in tests in advance and began to collapse the rating from July 13. Players voice different claims to the publisher represented by Tencent and developers from Smilegate Tripod.
In negative reviews, you can find claims of the level “boring plot and uninteresting character leveling up to level 50”, “dull quests for those who have nothing to do”, “uncomfortable interface” and “trading system, where you need to buy something at the auction buy blue crystals with real money. In addition, one user mentioned that “purchases in the donation store require more blue crystals than in foreign versions.”
But most of all you can find complaints about the problematic start of the game. The servers could not cope with the influx of players, and queues formed. In addition to queues, Tencent began to automatically issue temporary blocks to access the game if the connection was broken from the server side. After the opening of five additional servers, problems with access to the game were gradually resolved.
Separately, it is worth highlighting the moment with the integration of the Chinese social rating into the game. If your rating is below a certain value, then some of the content in the game is closed to you. For example, you will not be able to join a guild and use the auction.
Despite these problems, the game managed to become a leader among new games, and in the overall rating WeGame took 4th place among all games on the service. It can be assumed that in the end the game lived up to the expectations of the players, although it received controversial reviews.